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New YP group gains 1000 members

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A new young professionals group focused on career development and business networking has grown from 150 to 1000 members in less than two years.

Young Insurance Professionals Australia and New Zealand (YIPs) started in Melbourne in late 2010 and was launched in other states in July this year. It will be launched in New Zealand early next year.

The group has double the number of members it expected to have by now, and more than half of them are women, YIPs President Sampath Soysa says.

“It’s grown very quickly which I think reflects the need in the insurance market in Australia and New Zealand for an organisation like this,” he told

“Insurance is founded on the basis of good business relationships [and] the relationship aspect of the industry is one that’s been increasingly overlooked.”

He says some organisations have limited skills development budgets and focus these on education and skills for young staff, rather than networking.

“Skills are equally important [but] the younger generation of people coming through the industry are not getting opportunities to form, maintain and develop business relationships,” he said.

Mr Soysa says networking is important for career progression, including lateral movement between different roles.

As well as networking functions, the group runs educational seminars on “the more interesting aspects of insurance” such as cyber risks and identity theft, he says.

The group has also developed a website targeted at people who are new to the industry or considering joining it.

“There was nothing available in Australia or New Zealand that set out in basic terms how the insurance industry operates, what roles are out there, what they involved, their prerequisites and personality qualities,” Mr Soysa said.